The courts do not require that individuals hire lawyers to represent them in legal matters.  Anyone is allowed to appear pro se, meaning without an attorney.  While our courts allow people to appear pro se, however, we advise individuals to do so cautiously.  The law is complicated, the rules are strict, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to the way documents should be completed and submitted.  Individuals who proceed without the experience of an attorney may be putting themselves in harm’s way and can find themselves facing unintended results.

Attorneys are ethically bound to act in your best interest and an experienced attorney will take the time to explain how the law works and what you might expect with your case.

If you are involved in a legal matter and have not yet decided that you need an attorney, consider the following:

If the other party has legal representation, you are likely at a disadvantage.  An experienced attorney will use their experience to take advantage of this inequity.

The law is complicated and ever changing. Even attorneys are required to participate in continuing education so they are up-to-date on rule changes, recent decisions and opinions.  They also understand how to properly file court documents and handle other legal procedures, protocols and deadlines as the rules change.  Late or incorrect filings can delay or derail a case.

If, during the course of your matter, you determine that you do in fact need the help of a qualified attorney, there will likely be additional time and effort necessary which will result in additional costs.

Lawyers know how to challenge and/or suppress evidence.  You may not even recognize the significance of a piece of evidence until it is too late.

A good lawyer can draw from their experience.  An experienced lawyer probably has seen cases similar to yours or at least knows enough to make a calculated guess about how it might resolve at trial.